top of page

MEET DENISE

New Leadership Delivering Results for Our Communities

"I come from family with a strong work ethic, a can-do attitude, and an abundance of grit and determination. I will work hard for you and with you, finding solutions, navigating the complicated governmental agencies, and getting things done."

DSC_9961- 35 crop.jpg

Where I’m from

With four generations of my family in Oregon, my roots here run deep. Check out the article in the Portland Oregonian in 1947 about my great-grandmother building her house by hand! I was adopted and that is how I came to grow up in a small town in Kansas. My adoptive parents owned newspapers and were Republicans – fiscally conservative, but socially liberal, and they respected others with views different from theirs. I found my birth family when I was 23 years old, so I’ve been coming out here a lot over the years. Wanting to live closer to family, I moved to the Rogue Valley. I was fortunate to come from two families that I can be proud of.

My education and career

I went to college and graduate school and then started a career at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi, entering into 12-step recovery about that same time. I earned a Ph.D. and eventually became a full professor of epidemiology and biomedical informatics. I taught evidence-based practice, conducted cutting-edge research, and developed software to improve population health. After 25 years with the University, I retired and set off for the Rogue Valley with my family. 

 

Most of all…

I am the single mom of a wonderful teenage son. In addition to that, I am a small business owner, a land steward, a small family farmer, and an outdoor enthusiast. I love this beautiful place and am so grateful to live here. I feel a strong sense of responsibility for caring for the world we live in and firmly believe that we should leave a place better than we found it. I am ready to bring all my skills, experience, energy, and passion to be of service to ALL of the residents of Jackson County. It is time we stand together to get things done. Future generations are counting on us!

dkrause photo.jpeg
IMG_1773_edited.jpg

A Lifetime of Involvement

I’m not one to sit on the sidelines and complain or wait for someone else to take action. I get involved quickly,  engaging in causes where I feel I could make a difference.

 

At the University of Mississippi Medical Center, improving access to care and health outcomes in Mississippi, especially for its poorest citizens, became a passion. I took on Blue Cross of Mississippi to cover internal radiation therapy for breast cancer patients, making it possible for all women in Mississippi to get access to care that had been unavailable before.

I designed and developed a software platform called Mississippi Mapper — a web-based, custom mapping application that provides real-time data for health providers and citizens alike, suggesting trends and solutions. It is still in use. 

Here in Jackson County, I have been learning about sustainable agriculture and land stewardship practices. I've worked with resources available to local farmers and ranchers, including the SOU extension office, the Jackson Soil and Water Conservation District, and the Talent Irrigation District.

 

In response to threats to public health and safety, I organized a citizens’ group concerned with actions taken by a pig farm south of Ashland that involved zoning, land use and permitting violations, improper waste management, unpermitted excavation causing destruction and erosion of a steep hillside, as well as contaminating waters of the state (the Ashland Canal of the Talent Irrigation District). 

 

It was through this experience that I gained insight into the limitations of the Jackson County Planning Department’s efforts to enforce its own ordinances and protect county residents. I have seen firsthand how the explosion of illegal marijuana grows across the valley are competing for valuable water resources and threatening the quality of our lives. As Jackson County commissioner, I will work with you and for you to address the many challenging issues that we face and to improve the quality of life for Jackson County residents.

bottom of page